Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Art of Storytelling

As a writer, I am on a constant quest to perfect the art of story writing and storytelling. This past weekend, however, I had a rare glimpse at a natural storyteller in her element. 

Wanting to entertain my squirmy toddler, my husband's grandmother, Nonna, sang a tale to him. He sat mesmerized for a few moments, but like most toddlers, nothing held him still for very long. 

She had laughed, and told me that she had learned that particular song when she was a young girl helping her mom, as her dad was off at war, and she had three younger siblings to help care for. 

She then went on to tell me stories of her past, and I realized that Nonna had lived an entire lifetime of incredible circumstances, long before we ever knew her as our beloved Nonna. Her memories were recounted like a fairy tale, as she described the many hardships she endured, but also her romance with her valentine, her husband, Valentino. Her eyes would light up when she described some funny moments of local villagers, or some scandalous  gossip that occurred more than 75 years ago. 

I couldn't believe all that she had been through, and while it is not my place to tell her tale, I am forever grateful to her for sharing her memories. Her story is definitely remarkable and she truly knows how to tell a story. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Look!

Hello to Everyone!

I am so excited to reveal the new and improved look for my blog Baby Bear Ink! A great shout out and thank you to Diana at Custom Blog Design for all her help!

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Thank you for your support and I look forward to hearing from everyone!


Friday, August 19, 2011

What a Week!

The last few days have been truly amazing and full of outstanding literary inspiration. 

Last night, I went to see the movie, The Help, an incredibly moving story about injustice and perseverance, written by Kathryn Stocketts. This afternoon, I watched the J. K. Rowling story, about the famous author's life. Both movies were phenomenal, but what amazed me the most were the back stories. 

J. K. Rowling is best known for her Harry Potter series, and anything she now writes is most likely transported right to the store front window displays. But when she first started submitting her manuscript, she was faced with rejection after rejection. It took 12 rejects before her first book was accepted, and even then, her agent advised her not to quit her day job because children's books don't make money. Last I heard, she is now richer than the Queen of England. 

Kathryn Stocketts became obsessed with her manuscript, as each rejection only fueled her determination to get The Help publicized. Her book was infamously turned down 60 times before becoming a best seller. And last night I sat in a darkened theatre watching the big screen version. Incredible. (I have attached a link from a fellow blogger where an interview with the author should inspire any writers that feeling down on themselves:"

It is common to hear trends and wishlists from the literary powerhouses, but it's hard to ignore the potential for hidden gems that set themselves away from the pack. One can only hope to create that type of magical jewel. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What's In a Title?

I recently finished writing a new picture book story.  The details of the story came to me out of the blue, and I pretty much wrote the first draft in about twenty minutes (if only it could always be this easy!)

I spent some time editing it, and even had some trusty little ones do the proofreading (thanks M & G!). But when I started thinking about the title, I couldn't quite pick the right one.

First impressions are everything, and a title is a story's first chance to impress. It has to intrigue readers to pick up your book, or in my case, entice a publisher to put my ideas to print. It also needs to be memorable, so that when you're done reading, you'll remember it long after putting it down.

The trick to creating a great title is to reveal a little of what the story is about, letting your reader both anticipate and expect an engaging story. Even though it's popular to say that you can't judge a book by its cover, many do — myself included.

I can't deny that a good book involves an incredible plot with a captivating ending. But, in my opinion, the real secret to picking a great title is to make you want to pick up that book and start reading.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It Can Happen Anywhere!

It is no secret that I have been experiencing some serious writer’s block. I knew I was thinking about it too hard because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t think of anything to write. I tried writing exercises, word play, you name it; I was blocked.

Fast forward to yesterday: I had just given Luca a bath and couldn’t get over how long his hair had gotten...again! It seemed that I couldn’t cut it fast enough! I laughed to myself, thinking how his hair was going to be very high maintenance (much like mine was at his age –and still is!).

I don’t know how but I then started thinking of a fictional character and here’s what I came up with:

Its picture day and (character) has a problem. Her hair is uncontrollable and refuses to be tamed. With the help of her family, they attempt to contain and fasten her hair to make her camera ready. Her hair strains and whines against the elastic bows and ties, but stays put..... Or does it?  A story for anyone who has had to deal with their own unruly ‘do and eventually give up and accept their hairy situation.

Bestseller? Maybe....maybe not!

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